In the last decade, the possibility of using ophthalmic lenses as platforms for drug delivery has been target of an increasing interest.
Drug-eluting soft contact lenses (SCLs) can substitute the frequent administration of eye drops, enhancing patient’s comfort and compliance. They increase the drug residence time in the eye, and therefore the drug bioavailability, reducing the amount of drug required to ensure the treatment efficacy. Moreover, they lead to a lower systemic drug absorption, reducing undesirable side effects.
Drug-eluting intraocular lenses (IOLs) implanted in cataract surgery may be used for the management of acute symptoms (associated for example to ocular inflammation after surgery) or for the temporary replacement of the invasive intraocular injections to which chronic patients are often subjected.
The development and characterization of dental materials has been target of several studies performed at BioMat. Topics as the effect of bleaching agents on enamel, the effect of acids on natural and prosthetic dental materials and the tribological behaviour of such materials were/are being investigated. More recently, the use of 3D printing to process ceramic dental materials was explored in the project coordinated by the group.
Sterilization of medical devices/equipment is essential to reduce the risks of infection. The work performed at BioMat has aimed to deepen the knowledge about cause-effect relationships in sterilization processes, namely on the materials properties and on the sterilization efficacy, and to develop new methodologies for the sterilization of sensitive materials.
Hydrogels able to support load under motion are promising candidates to be used as cartilage substitutes, since they mimic natural cartilage. The knowledge gathered previously by the group on hydrogels design, controlled drug release, sterilization and biotribology was essential for the development of a new concept of cartilage substitution materials.
The main objective of this work is to develop and optimize bone regeneration systems based on calcium phosphate cements (CPCs), able to release in a controlled way antibiotics and/or containing morphogenetic proteins, that present adequate properties of handling and at the mechanical and biological level and meet the prophylactic/therapeutic needs after orthopaedic surgeries to facilitate the osteointegration process. The CPCs will be coupled with innovative fixation systems (screws with specific features) for better results.